During his 39 years (1961-1999) as head coach, Carroll Land, a former player himself who won two team MVPs, led the program to over 750 wins, 16 postseason appearances and to a pair of NAIA World Series berths. Dr. Land is a member of three Halls of Fame: the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and his alma mater, Point Loma Nazarene.
Land coached numerous All-Americans during his career and several of his players went on to sign professional baseball contracts. Among those was Marty Decker.
Decker pitched for Point Loma from 1976 to 1980, leading the team to four playoff appearances and rewriting the university record books along the way. Twenty-eight years after his playing career ended, Decker is still PLNU’s all-time leader with 37 career wins, 495 career innings pitched and 89 career appearances. He also holds the record for most strikeouts in a season (167) and career (492). He has the second most wins in a season with 11, and is one of four players to throw a no-hitter for Point Loma. Decker has a stellar 2.16 lifetime ERA and was a three-time All-District, All-American performer.
At the conclusion of his college career, Decker was drafted and signed by the Philadelphia Phillies. After three years he was traded to the San Diego Padres where he briefly made the Major League team. An arm injury requiring surgery forced his premature retirement.
Decker was inducted into the PLNU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.
© bob naegele